Even if you are under the age of 18, you have rights related to your sexual health. For a comprehensive look at sex and sexual rights in Wisconsin, visit SexEtc.org.
Age of Consent
In the eyes of the law, teenagers of certain ages cannot consent or agree to sex until they reach a specific age. This is called the “age of consent.” These laws are meant to protect minors from being manipulated or forced into sex with older people.
In Wisconsin, you can legally consent to sexual intercourse when you become 18 years old. That means that if you engage in sexual behaviors prior to you or your partner becoming 18, both of you could be prosecuted for a number of different violations, and even face jail time.
Seeing a Doctor confidentially
Minors can see a doctor confidentially (privately) at most clinics for these services without parental consent:
- Screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Alcohol or other drug abuse
For pregnancy testing and birth control prescriptions specifically, a minor must go to a federally funded family planning clinic such as Planned Parenthood. (Title X, 42 C.F.R §59.5) In these clinics, all sexual health issues are confidential (kept private) unless the doctor has concern for abuse, child safety or exploitation, and then they would have to report it. (WI statute 48.981) If you are interested in either pregnancy testing or birth control, speak with your individual doctor to see if they provide these two services.
Birth Control (Contraception)
- Minors (anyone under the age of 18) can get birth control confidentially at federally funded clinics such as Planned Parenthood. Other clinics MIGHT prescribe birth control, but you will have to ask them if they do.
- Free birth control and family planning services is available for qualifying for men and women ages 15-44. Learn more.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Minors (anyone 18 years old or younger) can be tested for and treated by a doctor for sexually transmitted infections without parent consent (WI statute 252.11)
- The exception is HIV testing: you must be at least 14 y/o to be tested without parent consent. If you are younger than 14, your parent needs to sign the consent form.
- Free STI testing is available for qualifying men and women ages 15-44. Learn more.
Alcohol and other drug abuse
- Minors age 12 or older can see a health care provider for evaluation and treatment of abuse of alcohol or other drugs without parent consent or notification. (WI statute 51.47)
- Check out our drug and alcohol page to get help for you or a friend who needs help with drugs or alcohol
Teen mother and teen father rights
- Teen Mom – makes all legal and major decisions for their child
- Teen Dad – only has decision making rights after paternity (proof of fatherhood) is established (proven); mom can put father’s name on birth certificate of baby or a petition for paternity is filed with blood tests following.